NaNoWriMo sets would-be authors on a quest to write a 50,000-word book in 30 days. That’s an average of 1,667 words a day. Not a bad clip, right? Of course, that’s the first draft. The ensuing rewriting and editing phases can amount to considerably more time spent on your project. So how long does it actually take to complete a ready-for-publication book?
This infographic might help put things in perspective, considering that famous works of literature, of varying lengths and esteem, took anywhere from three days to 16 years to complete. And book length does not always correlate to time spent writing.
“How Long Did it Take to Write the World’s Most Popular Books?,” published by Printerinks.com, shows that, at 16,470 words in length, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde took a mere six days to write – Robert Louis Stevenson had to write 2,745 words per day on average to finish the book within this timeframe – while J. D. Salinger averaged 20 words a day to finish his 73,000-word classic The Catcher in the Rye over a 10-year span.
As you whiz through your novel in a matter of days, wondering if it could possibly be this easy, or struggle, week by agonizing week, wondering if it’s worth the fight, this infographic may help you recognize that every book has its journey, and every journey has its path. Yours may take a month, a year, a decade … who knows? Don’t give up, your Song of Ice and Fire will emerge as long as you keep writing.
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